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Do we hear Poison’s cry?

BY: Jasmine Arku
DK Poison

He walked into the room almost unrecognised, except by a few media men and some ‘old timers’ who had come to listen to proceedings of the Brazil 2014 Commission of inquiry that day.

I saw the pleasant look on the face of the Chairman of the Commission, Justice Senyoh Dzamefe, when the PRO to the Commission, Thomas Boakye Agyemang, passed on a note informing him about the presence of David Kotei (D.K.) Poison, Ghana’s world boxing champion, in the room.

I was beside myself with inexplicable emotion as I watched Justice Dzamefe scan the sea of heads to locate D.K. Poison who was seated next to me.

The sheer ecstasy that swept the room, and the ovation that greeted the announcement of Poison’s presence, were indicative of how the audience, some of whom, including Justice Dzamefe and another commissioner who had not met the former world champion before, were simply overjoyed at seeing him in person the first time.

The third commissioner, Moses Foh-Amoaning, a dyed-in-the-wool boxing fan and a former President of the Ghana Boxing Authority, never let the chance to give an insight into the D.K. Poison phenomenon slip by.

In truth, Poison wasn’t at the commission’s sitting because of any special interest in the ill-fated Brazil 2014 campaign that brought so much shame to this country. He was there to ‘cry his own cry’, as we say in this country.

Poison was there to tell a sad story he has been telling since 1976 that had fallen on the deaf ears of those who matter. It was all about crying to the high heavens to intercede in his grief for the state to refund the $35,000 he loaned it for the purchase of mackerel (Tinapa) that was in short supply at the time for distribution in the country after he won the world title in the United States.

The refusal or failure of the state all these years to pay back Poison’s money has led to a situation where he has been compelled to recoil into his shell, making him look like somebody who is not sociable. Honestly, it’s natural that he is behaving this way. The state has not been fair to him.

When Poison appeared at the commission last week, it was at the instance of the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG). Scheduled to make a submission that day, the SWAG, through its member and PRO to the GBA, Naa Darkua Dodoo, got him to accompany it to the sitting that day.

The SWAG’s intention was that at the end of its submission it would make a special appeal to the commission to put in a word for Poison despite his case being outside its terms of reference.

Before we had the chance to do that, the chairman of the commission assured the legend that due recommendation about his case would be made to the appropriate quarters. We are grateful for that.

In all sincerity, this Poison matter beggars understanding, and the more I think about it, the more I get confused. I wonder how we can be taken seriously as a country if we can’t solve a simple matter like this.

Over the years, every day has seen Poison die slowly from the pain he has been left to battle with for want of political will. The time has come for the authorities to find the needed courage to deal with this matter once and for all.

I want to make a passionate appeal to President John Dramani Mahama to deal with Poison’s case the same way he consigned the hydra-headed problem of the 1963, 1965 and 1978 Black Stars to history by bringing the tale of unfulfilled promises to an end.

I’m convinced he can apply the same measure of urgency to finding a solution to the D.K. Poison problem.

Let this matter be resolved while Ghana’s first world champion is alive, for God’s sake.